Last Friday, I decided to take a quick visit to the New Jersey Shore to visit one of my favorite Irish pubs called http://www.kellystavernusa.com/ in an appropriately named town of Neptune City. The Reuben Sandwiches are THE BEST IN THE WORLD! After many New Jersey wreck dives, especially night dives to various in-shore wrecks, Kelly's was the place to get some great food at a decent price. During our lunch, I got into a good conversation with my wife over the diversity of fantastic wreck sites that New Jersey has in my own "backyard". Everything from ocean liners, German submarines, tankers, freighters, Coast Guard vessels and artificial wreck reefs, our state has it all.
Going from the Titanic to our next little vessel is quite the "sea change". Yesterday, I received an email from an old dive buddy of mine named Captain Steve Gatto. Steve is a veteran wreck diver that has explored many of the deep shipwrecks off the Atlantic coast of North America. In addition to his diving and captaincy duties, he is part of the Marine Forensics panel of the Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers that works on finding out why ships sink. One of the ships that he is working on is the ninety-four foot, ocean-going tugboat Thomas Hebert. Steve and his dive partner Tom Packer were the first to dive and examine her watery remains to try to answer questions regarding her swift sinking off the New Jersey shore on March 7th, 1993, taking five crewmen down with her. Fortunately two crewmen were found alive after being in the cold ocean waters. Steve is completing a book that will summarize the comprehensive history of this vessel and will describe its final moments, the rescue, the dives to the wreck site and finally provide definitive marine forensic evidence to her controversial sinking. Steve was featured on a wonderful segment of the History Channel's Deep Sea Detectives series last year and is finalizing the book on the Thomas Hebert. This book can be previewed at Steve's website at http://www.tugboatdown.com/ and I can guarantee will be a great read.